St Edward's Church's young parishioners take part in Big Sleepout

Young people from St Edward’s RC Church in Keymer had a glimpse of what life is like as a rough sleeper after taking part in The Big Sleepout.

The youth church council gathered in the church before moving their cardboard box beds and sleeping backs out into the car park of the church. They had to stay outside from 6pm until 9am the following morning.

The group of young parishioners who took part in the Big Sleepout

The group of young parishioners who took part in the Big Sleepout

The Big Sleepout is an annual fundraising event on September 21 run by Off The Fence.

The event provides participants an insight into what life is like for rough sleepers and raises much-needed money to help rebuild their lives and help to get them off the streets.

For 20 years, Off The Fence’s vision has been to see an end to social and spiritual poverty in Brighton and Hove.

This was the second year that St Edward’s YCC have taken part and so far, they are very proud to have raised over £3,500 for the charity so far with donations still coming in.

George who took part for the second time said: “It was great fun and the sense of community was electric.

“However, this was in a controlled environment and we have to realise that people have to do this on a daily basis. I slept under the stars so it was quite an accurate experience and it was beautiful but I also felt it would be very vulnerable if you were sleeping out on the street because anything could happen to you.”

Tania, the mother of Lucy who took part said: “This is a great opportunity to raise awareness among the young people and through our children, we as parents and the whole parish community are made more aware of homelessness issues.”